Include Men in Spotlight Initiative Interventions to End GBV
Inkosi ya Makosi Mmbelwa IV of Mzimba has tipped implementers of the Spotlight Initiative - a project that aims at reducing gender-based violence against women and children - to include men in their interventions.
The Ngoni Chiefs said men are also facing various forms of Gender-Based Violence in their families but are often shy to report the same to the authorities because of pride
"A lot of men are experiencing gender-based violence but due to their standing in the society and the saying that man is the head of the family they only suffer in silence without reporting,” said the Inkosi ya Makosi.
He said this has often led to a rise in suicide cases among men which has seen numbers of widows and orphans rising in the district.
"Now when a man dies leaving behind a wife and children the impact might hurt them very much as men are often breadwinners,” added the Ngoni Chief.
Inkosi ya Makosi Mmbelwa however rated the impact of spotlight initiative interventions at 50% saying more has to be done on the ground to ensure that women and children are living in violent free homes.
"I can put the impact of spotlight initiative interventions at 50% as in some parts of the district we are seeing an increase in the number of women who are coming in the open to report if they have been violated"
The Ngoni Chief made the remarks when the spotlight initiative engaged various stakeholders in the district to review the impact of the project in ending gender-based violence.
Other stakeholders have called for massive sensitization on laws addressing cases of gender-based violence so that they are popularised among rural communities
Mzuzu Diocese Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace Coordinator CCJP Arnold Msimuko says this would enable many victims of gender-based violence to seek justice.
"The other problem in the fight is that communities are not aware of available laws that can be used when they are victims of gender-based violence,” said Msimuko whose organization is one of the implementers of the Spotlight Initiative in Mzimba district.
The Spotlight Initiative is being implemented in the districts of Mzimba, Dowa, Nsanje, Nkhata bay, Ntchisi and Machinga.